Book Review: Avalon: Web of Magic – Circles in the Stream (Book One)

Avalon: Web of Magic – Circles in the Stream (Book One)
By Rachel Roberts
Illustrated by: Allison Strom
Published by Seven Seas
ISBN-10: 1-933164-66-2
ISBN-13: 978-1-933164-66-3

Review by Kris

Three girls who have nothing in common are about to become inseparable for one special cause.

Emily Fletcher and her mom have recently moved from Colorado to a small Pennsylvania town. Emily’s mom is a veterinarian and Emily has been known to help her out because of a gift she has. Emily is especially good with animals and seems to be able to help animals heal quicker because of her caring nature. But surprises wait around every corner.

Emily’s journey begins as mysterious girl brings in a cat from the town’s nature preserve. This cat has severe burns and Emily does all she can to help her mom save this animal. The thing is this isn’t a normal cat. Emily wants to get to the bottom of the situation by questioning the girl. Adriane lives in the nature preserve with her grandma and she was the one who found the cat and took her to Emily’s mom. Adriane is shy but, like Emily, she loves animals. The two use this to bond and quickly become friends.

One afternoon while Emily was taking care of the dogs that were in her care she met Kara. Kara is the daughter of the town’s Mayor and she is the quintessential popular girl. She is always surrounded by friends, wears the most in fashion clothes, and is condescending to anyone who doesn’t fit with her idea of cool. But Kara actually seems to be a bit deeper than those who keep her company.

Who knew that these three very different girls were going to get drawn into a magical world? This world is in trouble and Emily, Kara, and Adriane are the only ones who can save it. Can they put aside their differences and work together to save Avalon and all of the magical creatures?

I am so embarrassed that it has taken me this long to get a review written for this book (I also have to review the next two in the series as well.) My plan was to have my niece, who is in the age group that this series is targeted at, read it as well and have her help me write the review. It was a great concept while it lasted but she got involved with other books and decided that she’ll read it when she’s ready. So it looks like your stuck with my opinions!

This series is a republication. They’ve decided to change the look and bring it to an audience that are manga readers and like flashy, flowing art. Thanks to Allison Strom you definitely get a manga feel to the illustrations. Now do realize that this isn’t a story that has been adapted to manga (like James Patterson’s Maximum Ride), it just has manga style illustrations. The illustrations really add to the story and make it more fantastical and magical. It’s fun to see all the magical creatures that the girls meet and Rachel Roberts even adds a glossary at the end of the book to give you the lowdown on the different creatures that the girls meet and dwell at Ravenswood Preserve.

Not only is this a magical tale but it delves into deeper topics such as friendship. Even though these three girls are very different when times get tough they are able to come together. You do get the typical stereotypes. Emily is the outdoorsy, anything-goes, easygoing girl. Adriane is the shy outsider that marches to the beat of her own drummer and suffers the teasing of other classmates. Kara

is the stereotypical popular girl with somewhat of a conscience, if it benefits her.

Another great aspect of this series is the love of animals that these girls show. Not only do they care for the regular animals that live at Ravenswood but they have been chosen to heal the magical animals. They even have a magical helper, a ferret named Ozzie. He’s a wisecracking wizard who’s magical spell backfired and turned him into a ferret.

If you like whimsical, magical stories where friendship rules you’ll like Avalon: Web of Magic. Plus this is a great read for girls who are in the tween age range (9-13)! But you don’t have to be in that age range to enjoy this series.